2011 Salary Outlook: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy & Speech-Language Pathology

Physical Therapy Salaries 2011

With unemployment at an all time low and our economy in the dirt, many undergrads are still uncertain about finding work, post graduation. The healthcare industry has always done a great job with attracting talent because there will never be a shortage of injuries, illness, or treatment. A career in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, or Speech Language Pathology will help bridge that gap between I still don’t know what I want to be€ and retirement. You should expect to go back to school after graduation for at least two years to obtain your Masters or Doctorate degrees. It will be well worth it, as all of these jobs are relatively low stress, highly rewarding, and the pay is actually really good.

Physical Therapy

  • Median pay: $75,900
  • Top pay: $106,300
  • 10-year job growth: 30%
  • Total jobs: 190,000


  • #2 on CNN Money’s: Best Jobs for Fast Growth 2011
  • US NEWS: Best Careers 2011
  • Forbes Most Underrated Jobs 2011

PT Salary 2011What They’re Saying: Well, there is one thing for certain. People will always need Physical Therapists, as there are no shortage of injuries and or surgeries. With the PT job growth rate set at 30% over the next year, this isn’t a bad choice for post grad education. The Masters program used to be sufficient, however by 2020 all PT’s will be mandated to attain their Doctorate. The good news is current professionals will be grandfathered in. The bad news, in most cases, you will be earning almost exactly the same as someone with their Masters, but with a much higher student loan balance. Either way, this is something to jump on as stress is low and it will coat your pocket nicely.

Occupational Therapy

Median pay: $69,630

Top pay: $103,200

10-year job growth: 26%

Total jobs: 115,000Accolades:

  • #9 on AOL Jobs: 10 Most Kick-Back Careers of 2011
  • US NEWS: Best Careers 2011
  • #19 on CNN Money’s: Best Jobs in America 2010

OT Salary 2011What They’re Saying: Occupational Therapists help to develop individualized programs of activity for mentally, physically, developmentally, and emotionally impaired persons and to aid them in achieving self-reliance. This is a low stress and high reward job and as the baby boomers continue to retire this occupation will continue to sky rocket.  At minimum, expect to get your Masters to be able to find work. Although finding a job won’t be the issue, it will be finding the right job.

Speech-Language Pathology

Median pay: $71,000

Top pay: $108,000

10-year job growth: 18%

Total jobs: 140,000Accolades:

  • #1 on CNN Money’s: Best Jobs for Working Parents 2011
  • #44 on CNN Money’s: Best Jobs in America 2010

SLP Salary 2011What They’re Saying: If you’re looking for an exciting job that is fun and highly rewarding, Occupational Therapy is perfect for you. Diagnose and treat speech disorders for people of all ages. With the 10 year outlook showing an expected 18% growth rate, you will have nothing but security. This is another career that requires at minimum a Masters degree, so plan to go back to school for two to three years. Also, there is a lot of flexibility, where about 20% of SLP’s work part-time and about half of speech therapists work in schools, which means summers off and you’re done early.Are you are a Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, or Speech-Language Pathologist looking to move up to the higher end of the pay scale? Contact a Strategic Search Consultant at Centra Healthcare today and we’ll show you how. Call 800 535 0076 today.


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